Sally Rippin’s Love Letter To Children’s Bookshops

As Love Your Bookshop Day approaches on August 11, bestselling children’s author, Sally Rippin, explains how important bookshops are to shaping the minds of young readers.

No one understands kids’ books like a specialised children’s bookseller. Not only do they dedicate their time to reading so many of the dozens of new kids books published each year so they can recommend the right book for your child, but they also understand that children, like adults, sometimes wanted to be extended and other times just want to sink into the comfort of something familiar. 

Children’s bookshops can be the perfect place for your child to grow and gain knowledge of the world, exploring all kinds of situations without having to wander too far or experiment too drastically. From baby story times to teen book clubs, your children’s bookseller can see your child through their whole complicated journey, suggesting the right book for each stage, and guiding them safely into adulthood. 

I like to tell my kids I learned everything I needed to know from the books I read as a child. I learned about empathy and kindness by reading Charlotte’s Web, imagination and curiosity from Roald Dahl and periods and pimples from Judy Blume. But while these stories from your childhood may still resonate with some children today, many others will roll their eyes when you try to force your old books onto them. I can tell you mine did! 

This is where I suggest you befriend your closest children’s bookseller and I can guarantee you will find someone there who will be more than happy to patiently recommend books to your eye-rolling offspring. And even if they recommend the exact same books you did, somehow coming from your bookseller, who intrinsically understands what kids are interested in reading today, it will seem infinitely cooler, more relevant and interesting. 

As we celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day I’d like to do a shout out to all the children’s booksellers around the country and especially all the bookshops dedicated to selling kids’ books. You are the bedrock of our kids’ lit writing community – a place to launch, share, read and recommend, as well as a sanctuary for our children. The absolute best. And adults, seriously, don’t even try to do parenting without them! Your kids will thank you for it.


Sally RippinSally Rippin is the bestselling author of books for children including Hey Jack!, Billy B Brown and Polly & Buster.

Love Your Bookshop Day on Saturday 11 August 2018 is a day for everyone to head out to your local bookstore and celebrate everything we love about books and bookshops. Visit their website to find out about special events and activities across the country. 

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem.

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